Winter Book Review: Fates and Furies


Fates and Furies: A Novel was another pick from my husband about marriage and deceit, so I don't know what message he is trying to send me. This novel was however, on the New York Times best-seller list, and the synopsis on the back sounded intriguing and suspenseful, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I still have mixed feelings on this novel, and it was by no means a page-turner, taking me a good two months to get through it. Midway, I almost tossed it aside because I felt it was going no where and the two main characters were less than likable, but I manage to stick it out because I'm not a quitter dammit! The novel is a look at the layers of the marriage between couple Lotto and Mathilde. The first part of the novel the "Fates" starts with Lotto's story, and the second part the "Furies" ends with Mathilde's. Lotto is a of a piece of work, a self-indulgent heir to a bottled-water fortune, who is loved and adored by everyone. When he meets the aloof, mysterious, and gorgeous Mathilde in his senior year of college, they start a whirlwind romance marrying within quick two weeks of dating, resulting in Lotto being cut off from his family fortune. He and Mathilde, who is also estranged from her family, start a life in New York together, as Lotto attempts to make it as an actor. In the first half of the novel we know nothing of Mathilde, other than she has an undying devotion to Lotto. Lotto is as devoted to Mathilde as she is to him, but seems to be somewhat clueless or not in tune with who his wife truly is. This becomes more apparent in the second half of the novel from Mathilde's perspective. Mathilde's side of the story was more interesting, and gave more depth to her character than in the first half of the book, but still left me with lukewarm feelings towards her character. I imagine the author intended readers to question how much intimacy and transparency are actually needed in a marriage. Mathilde and Lotto's love was without question deep and committed to one another, but lacked in the area of transparency, which lea me to question how sincere their devotion actually was. Although Mathilde was not exactly forthcoming about her past life, and some of current life with Lotto, Lotto did not ever bother to ask her some general questions you should ask a spouse, such as, " Why don't you talk to your family? , Do you want children and why? What was your childhood like? Is Mathilde even your real name?" (spoiler alert, it's not). It made no sense to me at all why Lotto never had any interest in knowing his wife more. Their marriage spans over 20 years in this novel, so it's not as though Lotto never had the opportunity to get to know his wife a little better. Furthermore, this story did leave me asking, how much of their devotion to each other was out of codependency rather than love? The author is a gifted writer (although her style was a bit much for me to wade through at times) but the plot was stagnant with some gaping holes, and I just never felt a connection to either of the characters. If you've read this novel leave your comments below. I am also looking to get some good reads to put on the kindle for after the baby is born, since that was a great way to pass the time while breast feeding in the wee hours of the night last time. If you have any good light reading suggestions please leave them below also.
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